Saturday, 14 May 2011

Responding to: Creativity Doesn't Have to be Pretty

I am writing in response to an amazing post that Rice wrote on her blog. Here is the link: Notes From the Voodoo Cafe: Creativity Doesn't Have to be Pretty. The post is complete in itself, it doesn't need anything added, I just wanted to write about my own experience.

I am going to write this assuming you have read her post.

I relate deeply to what Rice has written, yet I have a little different take on it. I am not at quite the same level of creativity as Rice is. Yes, in my experience there are different levels. This is not an outer judgement, it is not from me observing others but from observing myself. I have learned to go deeper into my creativity.

I was always an artistic child. Good at drawing, playing creative games with my sister. But it was actually my sister that had the more full-on creative life. She came up with the ideas for our games, what we would create, the greatest stuff. I would often jump off of her creativity. Or perhaps I learned from her. She is my older sister.

As I got older, I was always attracted to creative endeavours. I majored in the fine arts at university. I was only happy in creative jobs such as graphic arts and sign-writing. I had the soul of an artist, but I wasn't wildly original. I can see that there is a difference, though I haven't looked at it deeply enough to explain it. My art is beautiful but not wildly original. I am not one of the truly original creatives that others can barely understand. I am somewhere in between.

But the amazing thing is that my creativity is growing. I thought you had to be born that way, apparently not. I am finding that you can nourish it and it will grow.

I want my creativity to grow because I am finding that the bigger it gets, the happier I get. It is such a wonderful gift.

Rice related her creativity to a psychotic symbol of a charming man who becomes rabid killer. I understand where she is coming from (and you do get the sense that she has a lot of affection for this psychopathic character) but my experience relates more to creativity as soulwork. Which isn't necessarily a contradiction, just a different viewing platform, as soulwork can be done in the dark as well as the light.


Lotus said...

O this is wonderful! O yes! I totally understand and agree that the more we nourish our creativity, the stronger it becomes. I find when I am able to create, more ideas flow and more inspiration becomes apparent in the littlest things. Does that make sense?

Truly, for a Creative, making/doing things is a drug. It brings me peace and re-energizes me and helps me face things I don't want to deal with but must (like my job working with the public).

donna malone said...

Hi Zom, I find it incredibly invigorating reading /watching/ listening to other artists processes and realising that we are all different but something so wonderful makes us artists just the same. I am a much better person after hours in the studio, my dog and partner notice immediately. My process isn't as 'violent' as Rice's but sometimes i have the experience of not being coherent with the mundane or judgement, of living almost completely out of my right brain just for an hour or so. ..and i am finding my capacity for this is definitely growing...thank you for the opportunity to review my process, Love donna

Ricë said...

Thanks, Zom--I'm happy to start a conversation. This is, after all, my favorite topic. Just to clarify, though--it's not creativity that's the crazy man in the attic; it's my brain. Feeding him creative ideas and letting him generate them is what keeps him from killing me. Otherwise, the OCD brain will spin tales of worry (termites, tornados, toothlessness, homelessness, incontinence, peak oil--you get the idea) until you're (I'm) sitting in the corner chewing on my arm. Giving him things to entertain him (and never leaving him alone in the den) is the only way to go short of drugs.

Zom said...

My misperception, sorry.

I do find that there is a certain element of mischief that a creative mind can make if it isn't getting a dose of what it really needs. I created drama before I learned to use that energy to create art. And I think the more creative one is naturally the more we are driven by it. I also think there is a certain amount of danger in the act of being creative. I think artists dive down into the unconscious and bring inspiration up, and that can have a certain danger.

donna malone said...

i call my "crazy man in the attic"..'the orange monster'...

Parabolic Muse said...

Actually, Zom, I know what you mean about the artist-as-crazy-person perspective. I saw that in Rice's post and I also realized that she was talking about a very individual and personal situation. But there are many people who truly believe that to be creative is to be a little nuts, and that angst can make one a better artist. It's a romance that doesn't really help many, or any, of us to make honest works of art or function.

I don't think that a person has to subscribe to the artist-as-obsessive in order to come to the realization that creativity can complete us. The behavior of it can make us saner and more whole and more independent. We don't have to be born to it, we only benefit in learning it. I have a dependent streak, and creating something honest, from way down inside myself and from a hard to get at place (and not the place where I want other people's approbation) can really tear away at that dependency and make me feel least while in the process.

I agree completely with Rice's take on much of the 'pretty, happy people' crafty public relations going on in magazine/etsy/blogging circles. I have nothing but respect for those bloggers who will state outright that they want a space for people to come to and find solace and beauty and inspiration. That's all fine and good. But what I don't like is the need, which Rice points out, for us to imagine or make for ourselves an environment where no one holds a dissonant opinion, where everyone enjoys the same activities and has the same world view. That is a fantasy land that can only distroy real creativity.

nollyposh said...

~Beautifully~ expressed <3